CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- USA Triathlon National Team member Kirsten Kasper raced to a career-best fifth-place finish at ITU World Triathlon Cape Town on Sunday, while 2016 U.S. Olympic qualifier Sarah True also captured a top-10 finish at the third stop on the circuit.
Kirsten Kasper earned her best career WTS finish on Sunday. (Scottie T Photography/ITU)
Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), whose previous World Triathlon Series best was sixth-place in the 2015 Cape Town event, clocked in at 1 hour, 8 seconds on the sprint-distance 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course. Kasper finished 19 seconds behind winner Non Stanford of Great Britain, who took the tape in 59:49. Great Britain teammate Jodie Stimpson captured second in 59:56, and Bermuda's Flora Duffy rounded out the podium in 59:59.
Duffy was first out of the water and led through T2 with a valiant solo effort on the bike. A chase pack of 28-plus women worked together to close in on the 30-second gap, catching Duffy in the final kilometers of the bike. Kasper helped push the pace on the swim and bike, and led the U.S. women on the run. True (Hanover, N.H.), who started the run within 8 seconds of the leader, maintained a solid pace for a season-best finish of ninth in 1:00:33.
In the men's race, Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.) led the U.S., finishing in 39th place in 56:35. Fernando Alarza of Spain claimed victory in 54:12. Great Britain's Jonathan Brownlee earned silver in 54:17, and Dorian Coninx of France raced to a third-place finish in 54:23.
Athletes will head to the next series stop in Yokohama on May 14, which is the last qualification event for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, where athletes could earn spots with podium finishes or through the USA Triathlon objective rankings system.
ITU World Triathlon Cape Town - 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women - Complete Results
1. Non Stanford (GBR), 59:49
2. Jodie Stimpson (GBR), 59:56
3. Flora Duffy (BER), 59:59
5. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 1:00:08
9. Sarah True (Hanover, N.H.), 1:00:33
16. Lindsey Jerdonek (Brecksville, Ohio), 1:00:48
32. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 1:01:43
Elite Men - Complete Results
1. Fernando Alarza (ESP), 54:12
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), 54:17
3. Dorian Coninx (FRA), 54:23
39. Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), 56:35
50. Robby Webster (Seattle, Wash.), 58:15
DNF Alex Libin (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
||About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).